It’s been a while since I have had the pleasure of enjoying afternoon tea at Killashee House Hotel, but having visited again recently, let me just say I won’t be leaving it as long before I visit again. The food continues to be excellent, but it’s the other changes that have taken place since my last visit that now put Killashee House Hotel firmly on the afternoon tea map. The tables overlooking manicured lawns, the crisp white linen, the vintage china, the new selection of teas and the attentive staff all served to make my visit memorable.
If there was one word to describe Head Pastry Chef Paul Fleming’s afternoon tea, it would be generous. Arrive hungry because Paul and the team will feed you well. If you have a sweet tooth, you will be in heaven and if you are a lover of loose-leafs teas and infusions, you’ll love their new range.
As we sipped on a glass of bubbly, the savoury plate arrived. The honey baked ham, smoked Emmental and tomato chutney on onion bread gave a whole new meaning to the quintessentially Irish “ham, cheese and onion”. The egg, parsley and lemon mayonnaise was served on delicious sourdough bread and no savoury plate would be complete without smoked Irish salmon with chive crème fraiche on freshly baked brown bread.
Then came the scones. There’s no messing around with bite size bakes with this afternoon tea. No, there is a light, crumbly, massive fruit scone for each guest. Truth be told it’s too big, but how can you not finish every crumb of a fruit scone that is baked to perfection?
Next up were the cakes – mini batterberg, banana bread, carrot and walnut and a beautifully light black cherry and chocolate cake. Teas were refreshed, the conversation flowed and the views were admired before moving on to the final stage of this epic afternoon tea.
And finally we reached the finger pastries. If you are expecting bite-size, think again. We finished off with a raspberry mousse, homemade macarons and a mini banoffee tart. We could not move, nor did we have to. Killashee lends itself to the relaxing ethos of afternoon tea and relax we did.
I couldn’t help thinking when I was there that Killashee is like a gateway to the capital. I imagined many travel-weary visitors from all over the country, stopping on their way to Dublin to be revived, refreshed by the wonderful experience that is their afternoon tea. This is not a dainty afternoon tea. No, this is a hearty, generous, wholesome Irish afternoon tea that welcomes you in and works its magic one bite at a time.
Afternoon Tea is served:
Monday – Friday 2pm – 5pm
Saturday – Sunday 2-3.30pm & 4-5.30pm
Traditional Afternoon Tea: €25 per person
Sparkling Afternoon Tea: €30 per person
Killashee House Hotel
T: +353 45 879277
Author of “Food from an Irish Garden”, Fiona Dillon lives with her husband and four children at Hunters Lodge in Co Carlow. Her recently published “Freddy Buttons” series of food adventure books for children (Orpen Press 2015) were written so that Fiona could share the food provenance message amongst young children. Her Freddy Buttons food-themed garden at Bloom 2015 won Fiona a silver medal.
One of Ireland’s best known food bloggers, Fiona documents her back to basics lifestyle through her blog www.fionadillon.com. She is also a feature writer for the Irish Farmers Journal’s Irish Country magazine. As Food Correspondent for KCLR96FM’s The Saturday Show, Fiona shares the latest food news from around the country with her Carlow/Kilkenny listeners. When she’s not busy giving talks on topics such as sustainable living or blogging, Fiona can be found tending to her honeybees or writing the next epic adventure for Freddy Buttons.